New international effort aims to provide free access to journal articles

September 2, 2009

A new outreach program allows radiologists from around the world to view selected practical educational articles from peer-reviewed journals online at no charge.

A new outreach program allows radiologists from around the world to view selected practical educational articles from peer-reviewed journals online at no charge.

The International Society of Radiology established Global Outreach Radiology (GoRad) at the beginning of August in an effort to advance radiology education. The feature aggregates current, practical radiology literature with content targeted to developing nations and an underserved population.

GoRad provides free and immediate access to articles at the time of first publication from participating journals. Most journals require a subscription, a username and password, or payment to retrieve articles, but through prior agreement, GoRad offers selected articles for free.

Thus far the journals participating are: Academic Radiology, American Journal of Neuroradiology, American Journal of Roentgenology, Current Problems in Diagnostic Radiology, Journal of the American College of Radiology, Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology, Korean Radiology Journal, Mexican Annals of Radiology, RadioGraphics, Radiologia, and Radiology. Click here to visit the website.

Right now editorial board members from participating journals select articles they would like linked to GoRad. The criterion for selection is how to apply various observations and techniques, according to ISR executive director Otha Linton.

Each article has a practical slant. For instance, in the August issue GoRad has an article from the AJNR on CT-grading of otosclerosis and one from AJR on cardiac CT assessment of acute chest pain in the emergency department.

Participation by other journals is pending, Linton said.

"Our thought is we will expand from English publications to other languages if things go well," Linton said.

But ISR has also learned younger radiologists in countries all over the world are computer-savvy and can read scientific English. For instance, that GoRad has a Korean journal reflects the fact almost all Korean doctors learn English, he said.

GoRad could be expanded in the future to pick up classic articles from previous years of publication, he said.